This information does not substitute itself from seeking professional medical advice. If any questions or concerns please consult your healthcare provider regarding your particular situation, especially for children, if you are pregnant or nursing or suffering from an existing medical condition.
Most information about aromatherapy essential oils is very little researched scientifically, but there are promising results that suggest possible benefits that need to be further researched. There is so much information as well as so much misinformation related to the effective use of essential oils and their benefits, so proceed with care and with oils in small quantities. Always remember that when using essential oils less is more, so add only a few drops of essential oil, consider the proper dilution and eventually test the essential oil on a small patch of skin first.
General caution when using aromatherapy essential oils
Essential oils are generally safe and effective, if used properly.
Go with trusted brands – because the FDA does not test oils for safety, it’s advisable for consumers to go with a trusted brand. Since not all essential oils were created equal, consider quality brands that have a better chemical composition.
As with any other essential oil, please keep in mind that these are very concentrated and only a few drops are enough, especially if applied on skin. You should always use a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, almond, grape seed, olive etc) and mix the essential oil before applying it to your skin. If you get any sign of skin irritation or chemical burn, remove it from the skin using a carrier oil. If you suffer a serious reaction, especially with oils ingestion, get professional medical help immediately.
You may be allergic to the respective essential oil or if you used more than your skin can tolerate. Overuse can also lead to allergy over time. Choose wisely and do not use oils indiscriminately. It’s best to do a skin test on a small patch of skin when using a new essential oil to make sure you are not allergic to it.
Some essential oils can interact with certain medicines and OTC medicines. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication or being treated for a medical condition, it’s best to consult your health care practitioner for possible interactions and side effects.
Keep away from contact with eyes. Rinse with water if ever the case.
Special caution when using aromatherapy essential oils around kids or pets. Some oils are toxic for animals, others are safe only in small quantities and special conditions. It’s best to seek professional guidance from your doctor or vet. Also, remember to keep essential oils in places where children and animals cannot reach – this can avoid the risk of oils ingestion.
Unless advised otherwise by your healthcare practitioner, you should not use essential oils internally. You risk them to interfere with medication or cause any toxic reaction.
Check also the video „Dangers of Essential Oils: Top 10 Essential Oil Mistakes to Avoid”:
Essential oils dilution guidelines
The essential oils are 50-100 times more concentrated than the plant, so when using essential oils do remember that less is often more.
Dilute your essential oils prior to use on the skin and use caution with oils that are more likely to cause irritation and sensitization. Like with perfumes, it’s a good idea to test a new diluted essential oil on small surface of skin. Watch for possible reactions (such as skin irritation, headache, dizziness, nausea, respiratory issues etc) in the next 24 hours.
Specific dilutions vary based on personal needs, type of product and essential oil specifics, but a general rule of thumb is to have a 1% – 5% dilution. For example a 2% dilution is to add 12 drops of essential oil to each ounce (30 ml) of Carrier Oil, lotion, vegetable butter or other natural moisturizer. Generally, a 2% – 2.5% dilution is generally recommended as safe for most healthy adults when applied topically with a carrier oil. A 5% blend is about 30 drops per ounce (30 ml) of Carrier Oil.
For diffusers, you should use about 3 – 6 Essential Oil drops to every 3.4 oz (100 ml) capacity. It’s best to use glass bottles, since some essential oils can interact with plastic materials.
The table below is particularly useful when you experiment with DIY essential oils blends or adapting them to better suit your fragrantic preferences.
Essential oils that have special dilution needs, according to Robert Tisserand’s Essential Oil Safety book. Some of these include:
To avoid risk of skin allergy:
- Clove oil – up to 0.5% dilution;
- Basil oil – up to 1% dilution.
To avoid risk of phototoxicity:
- Lemon oil – up to 2%;
- Grapefruit oil – up to 4%.
For more information, use Robert Tisserand’s Essential Oil Safety as reference when creating your own DIY blends with Essential Oils.